Russell Banks: By the Book — Anything described by the author or publisher as fantasy, which to me says, “Don’t worry, Reader, Death will be absent here.” In his brief introduction to “Slow Learner,” Thomas Pynchon says he takes serious writing to be that in which Death is present. I agree. Thus speaks a man most proud of his absolute ignorance on the topic he is discussing. It’s one thing not to care for a literary genre as a matter of taste. It’s another thing to dismiss that entire genre out of hand based on a profound lack of understanding, and then pretend that dismissal is a statement of high principle. So much for Russell Banks’ intellectual honesty.
The more they stay the same! — Sherwood Smith shows us sneering at genre fiction from two and half centuries ago. Russell Banks would be pleased at his place in the pageant of tradition.
Because syntax — This one’s for all you language nerds.
Parseltongue — This one’s for all you language nerds who are Harry Potter fans.
How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood — To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. We took the genre descriptions, broke them down to their key words, … and built our own new-genre generator. Fascinating. (Thanks to Scott Frey.)
Jay Lake #Dayton — Mmm.
This Dad Does Incredible Things To His Kids’ Lunches Every Day. I Can’t Stop Smiling! — This is cool. (Thanks to Lisa Costello.)
Why Everyone Seems to Have Cancer — We’re living longer, basically, and not dying of other things. Then there’s the simply unlucky, like me.
Three CubeSats Released — I love these things.
Physics Professors Search Internet for Time Travelers, Don’t Find Any — All depends on how you want to think about the causality.
The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence — In some jobs, being in touch with emotions is essential. In others, it seems to be a detriment. And like any skill, being able to read people can be used for good or evil. (Via Lisa Costello.)
Social Darwinism Isn’t Dead — If you’re doing well, you believe success comes to those who deserve it, and those of lower status must not deserve it.
Why Kim Jong-un probably didn’t feed his naked uncle to 120 dogs — Poe’s law definitely applies to North Korea. (Via
Winter Does Not Disprove Global Warming — Willful idiocy is a backbone of conservative thought.
Papa John’s, Applebee’s And Others Pay Huge Price For Anti-Obamacare Politicking — As much as I would love for this to be true, I have a very hard time believing that enough of the public cares about this kind of thing to be the root cause of such a decline in brand value. If most people cared that much about conservative insanity on such a large scale, we would have a very different House of Representatives right now.
Romney Wishes He Could ‘Turn Back The Clock’ — “They’re going to find that the doctor they’ve had, they can’t keep. They’re going to find the policies they were promised they could have, they’re not going to be able to keep. And the American people are going to be very, very upset about that.” Right. Because that never, ever happened under the old system. And Romney never lied about anything, especially not his extensive efforts to offer a superior healthcare reform. Still trying to unskew, Mittens?
Gay Marriage Opponents Call For Uprising In Utah — “The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats,” Former Graham County, Ariz., Sheriff Richard Mack said at the meeting. Yes, the conservative right to hatred, bigotry and oppression is certainly being endangered by other Americans enjoying their civil rights, that is true. This attitude does not fill me with sympathy.
“Religious liberty” means never being allowed to do anything that someone else’s religion forbids, apparently — Welcome to conservative America, where their beliefs rule your life.
Liz Cheney Dropping Senate Bid — Interestingly, note that one of the key issues was Cheney’s hypocrisy over gay marriage.
The Return of the Welfare Queen — Republicans are launching a class war with racial undertones—and hurting the poor whites they’ll need to win in 2014. Launching? What the hell launching? The GOP has been waging a race-driven class war since Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy.
?otD: Can you wait another day now?
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo brain)
Hours slept: 8.0 hours (interrupted)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Weight: n/a (traveling, no scale)
Number of FEMA troops on my block faking evidence for evolution: 0
Currently reading: n/a (chemo brain)